Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Cathy Ann Rogers. She writes Mystery, Crime, and Suspense novels. Cathy is the sponsor of Death and Deception in the Desert, Arizona Mystery Con 2016 on June 3-4, 2016 in Phoenix Arizona. (Aquitaine Ltd Publishing)
Mystery, Crime, Suspense
Cathy Ann Rogers
Cathy Ann Rogers
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Cathy Ann Rogers has a penchant for creating literary characters who imitate reality through their skewed sense of justice as well as their bittersweet victories.
Cathy attributes the shaping of her writer’s prowess to her solitary upbringing as an only child. Armed with a library card from her neighborhood branch in Cincinnati, she spent her childhood absorbed in suspenseful scenes depicted within the fiction of Christie and Conan-Doyle. Simultaneously, she built a mental library of potential plots while eavesdropping on the conversations of adults who discussed everything from Hollywood to History. The result of these blended influences is her fascination with plot twists and multi-generational storytelling in novels.
Following the dictates of her left-brain, Cathy pursued a degree and graduate certificate in accounting, establishing a tax and bookkeeping service for entrepreneurs. However, she maintained her right-brain passion for storytelling and puzzle solving. She sees a correlation between the discerning pertinent records from the irrelevant to assembling clues to solve a mystery. Both require the organization of information for a final solution.
After refining her craft through a series of published short stories, Cathy has now embarked on the publication of her first novel. “Here Lies Buried” is a multi-generational saga of bandits and betrayal, family and feuds, treasure and tales, unfolded within the pages of a diary.
Cathy weaves her tales from her Arizona desert townhome in the company of her Bichon Frises, Whitney and Sophie.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
Congratulations on your book: Sick In Shadows. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
Here Lies Hidden, is the sequel to Here Lies Buried, and the second in the Pilar Sagasta series. The projected release date is December 2015. This series combines actual historical events as the backdrop for these fictional characters. I included a teaser for that book at the end of Sick In Shadows to give a hint of which direction Pilar will go this time in her family tree. I have a fascination for the tumultuous early 1900s that has become the foundation for this series.
I am excited about the Arizona Mystery Con 2016 event you’re sponsoring in Phoenix on June 3-4, 2016 in Phoenix. It looks like a great group of outstanding authors. Can you tell us how Mystery authors can sign up for the event? How can mystery readers keep track of the upcoming events and special offers? Are there hotel accommodations available to event authors and guests?
I am excited also. Any authors or readers interested in should go to
for information on author panels and other reader opportunities. Embassy Suites has a great room rates available. They can also “Like” us on Facebook and Google+ where we will be posting updates about promotions and special exhibits.
Tell us about your publishing company, Aquitaine Ltd, the sponsor of the Arizona Mystery Con 2016. Do you publish other author’s works beside your own? If so, how can they contact you for information and submission rules? Do you stick to the Mystery genre or are you open for other types?
Aquitaine Ltd, or Aquitaine Publishing, evolved from publishing my own books into my desire to share the knowledge I’ve gained on my path to publishing. I’ve had other authors come to me for advice, so I thought the best way to encourage other new writers is to give them a place where their book is respected while providing them with direction to make it the best it can be. We specialize in emerging writers on a platform that is part self-publishing, part traditional publishing. While I know plenty of self-published or Indi authors, I observed a need for a professional touch in book covers, independent editing. We also provide marketing materials, such as bookmarks, postcards, and other handouts. Aquitaine never charges an author a fee to publish their books, but in return I require the use of my own book cover designer and professional independent editor to make sure the content is as clean as possible and is represented by a striking cover.
Our tagline is, “Boutique publisher for the emerging writer.” We solicit most fiction genres and non-fiction (see Submission Requirements at
www.aquitaineltd.com). The goal is not to focus on one genre, but to focus on new authors.
You have written several short stories. Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work?
First, I enjoy creating short stories and consider them an art form in their own right. Similar to telling a story as flash fiction, in less than 100 words or 500 words, I love the challenge of using fewer words to get the story across. On the business side, I track the free downloads of my short stories and get a lot of activity. Some of the previous versions are still online at various website, but I consolidated my previously published shorts into one volume last year, Heavy Mascara. I wrote these stories at different periods over the years, and they needed to be revisited with a fresh eye. Sally J Smith, my editor, was instrumental in helping me reshape and revise the stories for a new audience. I have had positive feedback about the stories. And yes, short stories provide a taste of what a reader can find in my novels. Besides that, many readers enjoy to quick or fast read.
I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of a short story collection with the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Authors. What was the impact on your other sales? What was the main objective of bundling your works with other mystery authors? How did you put something like that together?
Speaking for myself only, I viewed my inclusion in anthologies as a way to get exposure for my writing. My stories appeared in print format in Wizards of Words Anthology in 2009 and Path to Publication before the Desert Sleuths’ anthologies, as well as the online magazines, Twist of Noir and Mysterical-e. I believe providing the public a taste of your work in small bites a good way for readers to find out about your style before they invest dollars in a novel. Anthologies also provide credibility for a new author, depending on the professionalism of the anthology.
Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, tax business, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do you sort of play it by ear?
I use deadlines, some that are self-imposed and others set by an outside agency, such as the IRS. I work well under pressure, so giving myself a window to finish a project works for me. Having too much time on my hands makes me lazy due to my natural tendency to procrastinate. What I cannot seem to do is section off my day to a rigid schedule, such as a block of time for creative writing, another block for accounting and tax work, marketing, etc. Business is unpredictable because a client can contact you at any time and you cannot say, “Sorry I can’t help you. I’m writing right now.” I have learned to be flexible in that regard. My greatest attribute is that once I begin a project, I work it through to the end. I learned that as a child when I had to get my chores and homework finished before I could play. That taught me the talent of being self-directed and self-disciplined.
What has been your experience with book hops? Did they contribute to the increase of your book sales?
I’m sorry to say that I have only participated in one so far. From what I experienced, that can be a good way to cross-promote with a group of authors and gain readers. I learned a big lesson that an author has to be certain the author they tag to continue will follow through. Otherwise, the chain ends.
Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?
I began compiling my list and add to it from newsletter signups or from readers who give me their email information to keep up with what I’m doing. I use social media to increase my presence and direct them to my website where they can subscribe to my newsletter/blog.
You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and helping other writers gain exposure. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?
My goal with the blog is get personal with my readers, let them know who I am, and get them interested in wanting to read my books. In answer to where I find the time for everything, that has to be in the things I don’t do so often anymore. I used to spend time cooking, reading, taking care of my home, yardwork, and the big time-waster television. I still do all of those things, but in a much more limited way. When a person evaluates how they spend their time, anyone can learn that all of us waste so much of our finite time. I think what changed my thinking was once, when I talked about how I had so many plans for future, someone said to me, “When? You talk about all the things you’re going to do in the future like you were going to live to be two hundred.” That stunned me, more because we all do it--setting aside plans and dreams for the indefinable future. I learned that if you want something or want to try to do something, just do it. Even if you fail, at least you won’t end up with regrets later.
What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?
For the first book, Here Lies Buried, I solicited professional reviewers, but I’m happier relying on the honesty of my reading audience, even if they don’t care for my book. I learn from criticism and want to know what they think. Social media is a great way to solicit real reader reviews. I will also be posting a blog looking for more reviews. As my readership grows, I think reviews will come more easily.
Author's Book List
Sick In Shadows
PRETTY IS AS PRETTY DOES
Tate Marsdon, MD, a successful Scottsdale plastic surgeon, shows up for dinner at the home of close friends Henry and Imogen Vine to find his host stabbed to death and his hostess in a state of psychosis.
Arrested and jailed, Imogen undergoes treatment for traumatic memory loss, but her attorney, Erin Fitzgerald, Tate’s current romantic interest, starts to question her client’s guilt. Erin and Imogen’s closest friends work to uncover the truth behind the cold-blooded killing. But hiding deep within the shadows is someone determined to stop them—even if it means another death—this one closer to home than anyone imagines.
When Tate finds himself targeted as a prime suspect, he, too, is drawn into the investigation. Between his spirited girlfriend, Erin, and his eccentric female patients, he discovers the brutal death of his friend is only one in a series of murders…
…And the killer is not done yet.
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Barnes and Noble
Elizabeth Kearn thinks her biggest problem is having a run of bad luck with men. That is, until someone spray paints her garage door with the word, WHORE, and leaves her unconscious with a deep gash in her head.
Then two exes come back into her life, neither particularly welcome. A recent ex, Walt, asks for her help when he’s suspected of doing away with his current girlfriend Patti. Edgar, now married, comes into town on a mission to reignite their decade-old romance, and not happy to find he has to compete with Walt for her attention. When Patti turns up alive, everyone involved is relieved, especially Edgar. But that relief does not last long when someone is murdered.
Elizabeth is drawn into a web of treachery, duplicity, and vengence when she starts uncovering disturbing secrets, and finds her own life in danger from an anonymous stalker intent on seeing her dead.
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Barnes and Noble
Behind every face, these flawed yet authentic characters are driven by their own sense of skewed logic: a man fends off accusations by the woman he loves, a lonely woman is in pursuit of the perfect stranger, a naïve woman believes she has found her dream man, a desperate woman escapes from a risky relationship, a convalescing woman finds terror when her car breaks down, a woman becomes a stalker's target.
From young women to elderly matrons, from the savvy sophisticates to the socially inept, the characters in these stories depict life's defining moments where one calculated move cements the unalterable fate of another and the inescapable consequences of karma and conscience.
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Barnes and Noble
Woman's Work: A Short Story
In 1920 Flagstaff, Josefina Paralelos is confronted with a dangerous intruder who learns too late the error of mistaking a woman's frailty for helplessness! This prequel to the novel Here Lies Buried offers a peek through the window of history and into the minds of a dynamic family.
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Here Lies Buried
PILAR SAGASTA steps into a world of mystery and intrigue when she travels to Arizona to connect with distant relatives.
This contemporary murder mystery reaches back to the perilous times of the early twentieth century that changed the world's political landscape. The story, brimming with memorable characters and haunting historical details, travels back and forth between the familiar, modern world and an early twentieth-century Arizona brought startlingly to life by the words in a forgotten diary.
Inspired by actual unsolved crimes in the Arizona Territory of the late nineteenth century, Here Lies Buried from Cathy Ann Rogers is a novel that carries readers along with suspense and historical events both repugnant and intriguing.
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Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by:
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle